Caramel Chocolate Cake Recipe
Caramel Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Caramel Chocolate Cake Recipe

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The crowd will cheer when you bring out this masterpiece! A creamy caramel frosting lends old-fashioned flavor to the moist chocolate cake. "This dessert is a hit whenever I serve it," notes Esther Wise of Longmont, Colorado.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
MAKES:15 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
MAKES: 15 servings


  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring, optional
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 15 pecan halves

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 piece) equals 487 calories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 66 mg cholesterol, 314 mg sodium, 81 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate in water. Stir in food coloring if desired. Remove from the heat; cool completely. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Add cooled chocolate mixture; beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
  2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  3. For frosting, combine the brown sugar, milk, butter and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234° (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat; cool to lukewarm. Transfer to a small bowl; beat in confectioners' sugar, cream and vanilla until mixture achieves spreading consistency. Frost cake. Garnish with pecans. Yield: 15 servings.
Editor's Note: We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.
Originally published as Caramel Chocolate Cake in Country Woman January/February 2003, p40

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Reviewed Mar. 8, 2016

"I was disappointed in the way the cake turned out. Because I wanted to make something special for my husband's birthday, I baked the cake in two-9 inch round pans. The cakes took longer to bake than I thought they should for 9 inch pans. Cake was dry, very dry. I almost made the old standard peanut butter frosting, as it was being served to a group of farmers and I knew they would appreciate peanut butter more than caramel. I was not happy with the frosting either. I had to use 2 1/3 cups of confectioners sugar to get spreading consistency. That is way too much sugar when you figure in the brown sugar. Flavor of cake was OK, but will not make again."

Reviewed Feb. 25, 2013

"I love this cake and the frosting is to die for. My husband and I were going to a friends house so I decided to make this cake. We got a snow storm and were unable to go. Well we were not happy that we couldn't go, but very happy that we had this cake to help with our disappointment:) The only thing I did was toast the pecans to just bring out the oils in them. Make this cake. You will love it!"

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